“My park enforces an occupancy standard in all of the homes. They claim that the government makes these rules, not them. Can the government force a park to limit the number of people living in a mobile home?”
-Dave C. (45), resident, Stockton, CA
It’s difficult to say.
The authority to regulate and enforce limits on the number of people living in a home generally falls within the jurisdiction of local governments rather than the US federal government. Local governments, such as city or county authorities, typically have zoning and land use regulations that govern residential areas, including mobile home parks.
At the federal and state level, legislation has been considered to create a standard occupancy—2 persons to each bedroom, plus one person—but as of 2023, this is only an HUD guideline. Some cities that have tried to legislate occupancy standards under the HUD guideline have been challenged in court.
With that said, mobile homes usually have a recommended occupancy determined by the manufacturer of the home. Therefore, the park could try to establish an occupancy standard based on the manufacturer’s recommended capacity for each home, but the rule could still be subject to legal dispute.
Overall, while local governments may able to enforce these regulations, it is important to consult the specific laws and regulations in your jurisdiction to understand the exact requirements and limitations that apply to your area.
- Local governments can enforce housing ordinances, but they are often challenged in court.
- The HUD guideline (2 persons per bedroom, plus 1) is a design standard, not a federal law.
Source: California Mobilehome Residency Law 2023